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MG TD TF 1500 - Center of gravity - MG TD

Almost a year ago I bought a two-post lift. Since retirement I've made a major dent in the deferred honey-do list so I hope to install the lift before the end of this month. It's a Max-Jax for low ceilings (four foot lift) rated at 6,000 lbs so the TD should be no problem and it should be able to handle my '77 F-100 pickup and the '67 MB 230S as well. I suspect I'll have to have two locations for the posts to accomodate the narrow width of the TD and the wider width of the F-100. Different lifts probably have different length arms but I'd love to know how far apart y'all with two-post lifts have set the posts to lift your TDs/TFs.

Also, to the subject of this thread, approximately where is the front/rear balance point on a TD. Just eyeballing and assuming the engine weighs more than the gas tank, I'd guess about right at the door handle.

Any answers to these question and any additional advice on lifts, TDs or life in general will be greatly appreciated.


J K Chapin

This from the dwg I did for my garage.
Atlas BP9000
A "base plate" 2 post, so really no other option on mine.

Center of gravity (lift points) depend on what I am working on ...but normally at "jacking points" per WSM.

Help any?

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

I don't know about the lift you bought but all that I'm familiar with have a set location for the base plates. On mine the arms are plenty long enough to accommodate whatever it will lift. With a full sized PU truck it's a tight squeeze getting out of the door while the MG has lots of room. A Jeep is so short that the arms are nearly all the way in while a Suburban has them nearly all the way out.
JE Carroll

Dave, great drawing - your lift is very similar to mine. I can't quite read the middle diminstion but I think it's 101". Is that correct?

JE, thanks. I think I'll use the F-100 to get the spacing a narrow as I can and still get out of the truck and then hope that the the extendable arms will reach the TD frame (I suspect they will).

Thanks to you both for your help.

J K Chapin

I was able to obtain AutoCAD files from my supplier that I then pasted into the dwgs I did when building "Abingdon Hootersville North Annex" (garage).

What I posted was just a "snip" from those.
(poor resolution to be able to post here)
I would think your supplier would have the same?

My lift came from here:
("downloads" has all dimensions for install)

My "arms" come in close enough that I can lift everything from my garden tractor to a full size 1 ton Ford Excursion on it. The base plate is 201".

I went with a base plate model as I did not want "restricted access" at the top. I put a 4X8' trap door to my attic right above the lift and use it with a 10' roll around table as an elevator to put parts in the attic. Makes storing wheels, trannys, engines, and such an easy task!
Modified an old screw gun and boat winch to raise the trap door powered from my re-chargeable battery pack.
Quite trick ...if I do say so myself...and I just did. LOL

When there isn't a car on the lift, it has a hammock on it!
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Jud, just curious for future reference because I have a low ceiling also, the site says your lift is "portable". Why do you need these measurements? How "portable" is it?
efh Haskell

I just looked at the link for your lift.
Looks like there is no "floor mounting" required.

As an OBTW for anyone installing a lift:
Mine came with no electrical info and a temp "pig-tail" sticking out of the control box.


I didn't. Why would you's common sense...right?
3 wires:
Green = Ground
Red = 1 leg of 220
Yellow = 2nd leg of 220
WRONG !!! Red was ground on mine!

As a "temp test" before I ran conduit to it I lit an Amish guy up and fried the control box relay on mine!

Red ground?
No where on it did I see the word "LUCAS"! LOL
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

It bolts to the floor but can be unbolted and rolled out of the way. I'm on the road in the TD so more later. Thanks. Jud
J K Chapin

BTW : If you find yourself in need of a 3/4" concrete bit for a spline drive impact drill to install , let me know.
I rented one to do my lift, but had to buy the bit ($86 bit). Have had it on CL for sale for $35 for years with no takers. Sell it for $35 or you can "rent it" for free.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

When I was just out of high school I drove a 53 TD and worked at a Sunoco station with a single post lift It had swing arms and flip up contact points. Lifting at the extreme ends of the center flat portion of the frame work well.

With a two post you will have better access to the center of the chassis for drive line and exhaust work. Tall cotton I say as I am doing a complete brake system rebuild wirth much work on a creeper, you lucky dog.


Jim Haskins 2nd 53 MG TD
J. M. Haskins

Dave, re the 3/4" spline drive bit: If you find a buyer ask if he wants two. I bought a new bit when I bought the lift. Paid the same price you did. Will use it to drill ten (or at most 15) holes and then it will hang on the wall for 15 years. Drat! The base plates on the posts are attached to the floor with anchor bolts into the concrete.

The Max-Jax is sold as "portable" but probably not very - it's d@mned heavy). The posts do have little dolly wheels so unbolding the post from the floor anchor bolds allows a strong person to move the post out of the way. When I bought it I was going to install it in the 8" ceiling where I garage the TD but now I'm going to install it in my building with ten foot open truss ceiling (really no ceiling at all) so the short posts are no longer as big a deal as when I bought it. Anybody want to trade a full height lift for a four food shorty (the freight would kill us but, what the hay, might as well ask).


ps: good 60 mile drive. The TD purred like a kitten and stumbled only once briefly after I stopped and idled for a couple of minutes in the heat of the afternoon. The stumble quickly cleared and the purring returned after I got back on the road.
J K Chapin

Jud, you are right with the center of gravity close to the door handle. I use a manual fork lift (the type that is used for moving pallettes in stores) to move the car sideways to store if for the winter at the back wall. The fork is less than 2 ft wide, therefore requires good balance.
Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

Just behind the front fender/running board joint. I have my TD on dollies so am always jacking it up to take the dollies out when I drive it.
L Rutt

Thanks, with a two post lift I want to minimize any tendency to tip forward or back from being unbalanced - the car that is, this guy was certified unbalanced when he announced his intention to buy the TD :-)
J K Chapin

Just happened to snap a pic yesterday as I was cleaning Izzy's bottom up a bit. Still get soaked, but it does make it easier to wash under the wings having a lift.
Normally I have the front ones forward a little further, (see arrows) but wanted access to pedal box here.
She hadn't tipped over when I came in last nite...haven't been out there yet today!

I always run it up a few inches and give it the "wiggle test", then run up a little further and visually make sure I am centered and flat before going up too far.

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Dave, that's exactly what I needed to see. Thanks.
J K Chapin

You want to spread the arms out as far as you can. I place the arms by the forward spring anchor, just ahead of the frame arch for the rear axle and the front ones on the frame forward of the brake master cylinder. I use six inch long 2by4 pads between the frame pads and the lift.
The "wiggle test" is a prudent move. I have actually moved cars on the lift while working on them. If I were not so careful about placing them on in a stable manor, I would have dropped one by now.
D. Sander

Totally agree with D Sanders on spread the arms out as far as you can.
My situation is a bit different. I work seated in a roll around chair. In as much placement of my base plate comes into play. Speed bump in rolling chair is no fun.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Dave Sherward - could you post a couple of pics of the trap door and lift set up you have ? Setting out on a similar project in the next few months ;-)

Dave TF1500 1955
D Moore

Dave M,
Will do when I get to garage today.
I will be out there to fix the automated trap door...I think I stripped/bent it yesterday. It's been working for years quite well ...but got a "stress test" yesterday. Wasn't quite strong enough to tip a swimming pool full of ice water 5 times on top of the lift! 4 times ..fine ...5 ..nope!

Yet another use for a lift!
I have a dear friend that challenged me to "The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge". He has been bravely fighting ALS for 6 years now so I decided a "bucket" was not enough to show my support for him.

IF you facebook you can see it there under my name.

Wait for it, wait for it....
Yep : I challenge everybody in the MG community to take the challenge!
Take the challenge and/or donate $100 to the cause to find a cure!

If you read this ....You have been served!

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

This thread was discussed between 12/08/2014 and 16/08/2014

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